In many ways Next of Kin feels like an Italian giallo. It's got a central heroine, a spooky house, and mysterious deaths that may or may not be murders. But the movie is actually a product of Australia's 1980's "new wave," and owes a lot to classic Victorian gothic literature.
Linda (Jackie Kerin) inherits an old folks home when her estranged mother leaves it to her after her death. As she contemplates whether or not she should keep the place open or shut it down for good, she starts to grow close to some of the residents, while also dealing with some of their deaths, which may or may not be accidental.
Next of Kin is not an action packed horror movie. It takes its time, more interested in mood (enhanced a lot by its excellent synth-heavy score) than scares, at least until the end, when the movie almost goes off the rails before settling into a satisfying climax. It's a bit of a forgotten haunted house (or is it??) movie that deserved a bigger audience at the time.
Including a trailer below, despite it being one of those annoying trailers that basically sums up the entire movie.
I watched Next of Kin on the Criterion Channel.
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